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Surprising and Delightful Collaborations with Installations and Events at Clerkenwell Design Week

This May Clerkenwell will play host to surprising and delightful collaborations for the seventh edition of Clerkenwell Design Week. ‘CDW Presents’ will bring six specially commissioned public installations to the area, each in context and offering a fresh insight into design and materials. The Fringe, sponsored by Greene & Co, gives visitors a chance to explore the rich creativity within Clerkenwell, as local practices, businesses and organisations throw open their doors.

Integral to the festival’s success, the CDW Presents programme offers an insight into temporary architecture, materials and the use of public space. Partnering exciting architecture and design practices with suppliers of innovative products makes new connections and delivers inspiring results: free for all to experience, this is where CDW can flex its creative muscle to show new approaches and fresh ideas in key locations as part of the visitor experience.

St John’s Square will be home to the Museum of Making, a pavilion of making in Clerkenwell - across the past, present and future. The deconstructed Swedish barn designed by White Arkitekter, sponsored by EQUITONE, will host a selection of fascinating artefacts from Clerkenwell’s history as a centre for making and craftsmanship from the Museum of London; alongside a collection of tools for contemporary design. Contemporary design curator Pete Collard is responsible for all the content of the Museum of Making, and there will be workshops and demonstrations by The Goldsmiths’ Centre, Craft Central and ThomasMatthews, held in the pavilion so visitors can be hands-on with making and learning.

Structurally the pavilion references White Arkitekter’s Scandinavian roots, and is built from EQUITONE fibre cement façade materials. The panels are arranged in section to create an open yet sheltered space to bring 2 people together. Vibrant blue and green panels on the Clerkenwell Road side represent the area’s contemporary creativity; while on the opposite side warm muted tones reflect brickwork and the history of craft and industry. The Museum of Making promises to be a living hub of creativity, as well as a salient reminder of Clerkenwell’s historic centre for making, commerce and craft.

Close by, within the archway of St John’s Gate, HakFolly will offer a space for rest and contemplation. Once the south entrance to the inner precinct of the Priory of the Knights of Saint John, architects FleaFolly have drawn on this monastic history, and worked with sponsors Hakwood to create a 4.5m high temple of stacked timber. This structure aims to provide visitors with a fleeting moment of calm within CDW.

FleaFolly were also inspired by their visit to the Hakwood factory in the Netherlands, where raw materials are stacked, and create unusual tiered structures. This stacked timber is transposed to the iconic archway, where the visitor can pass through the centre of the structure. Light filters through its body with a central aperture that will allow one to look up at the centre of the arch and its golden crest. The lower tiers of the structure will act as long benches to allow visitors to rest and reflect on their surroundings that are so often passed by quickly. The aim is to ensure, like an 18th Century Garden folly, that HakFolly is a little absurd, mad, and also delightful.

Billboards by Giles Miller Studio, sponsored by British Ceramic Tile will help guide the way through CDW for visitors this year. Taking shape as a series of installations, the component parts have been specially made in collaboration with British Ceramic Tile. With the new masterplan of Clerkenwell Design Week this year, wayfinding is of paramount importance to help keep the flow of visitors, and allow for each aspect to be explored: Billboards is a response to this at the heart of CDW

London-based Giles Miller Studio has produced large abstract signage of square glass tiles. Each giant glass sculpture will be made of a different coloured tiles, arranged in a scale-like composition, that will then ‘open’ as visitors pass by, creating depth and life on each surface. The sculptural billboards will feature a ‘swoosh’, to evoke the movement of visitors from one destination to the next. Billboards will be positioned at strategic locations for wayfinding throughout CDW, while providing enchanting sculptures for all to enjoy.

Close by, in the Garden of St James, Surface Matter + Loll Designs present Lollygagger Living, in collaboration with Ella Doran, the installation provides the opportunity for visitors to lollygag; meaning ‘to recline or lean in a relaxed or indolent manner’. The bright and poppy furniture will give visitors the perfect place to relax. Manufactured with a material made of recycled milk jugs, the colourful installation champions sustainable design and pushing the boundaries of material use.

A range of fun competitions will be held, so come and take your chance to win a Lolllygagger!

OMMX, the young team behind the new CDW masterplan, are also creating an installation at Design Fields, one of the new, key locations this year. Within the new space, OMMX will create two concept pavilions next to headline sponsor Renault’s presentation. The 6m tall scaffold structures will be cloaked in three tiers of layered fabric; one will function as a new portico and entrance point to the main venue, the other a pavilion for views across Design Fields, respite and shelter.

Last, but certainly not least, the Future of Design pavilion is CDW’s first education and community project. The project aims to inspire more young people to take up careers in engineering, architecture and design. The project was developed through a series of workshops run by Scale Rule, a local collective of architects and engineers, and supported by Clerkenwell’s AKII and Grimshaw. The project has been realised through the donation of material from Hanson Plywood Ltd. and the help of Library of Things. Visitors will find Future of Design pavilion in the Garden of St James, Clerkenwell.

William Knight, Clerkenwell Design Week, Show Director said: “This year we have a fantastic range of participants in the Fringe, that all contributes to the rich experience of visiting Clerkenwell during CDW, and is testament to the area’s creativity. The public spaces explored by CDW Presents act as vibrant embodiments of this creativity, to welcome visitors and to invite them to engage directly with one-off projects”

Further details of workshops and talks, and how to book, a will be available on www.clerkenwelldesignweek. com 

Clerkenwell Design Week Locations: Across Clerkenwell, London

When: Tuesday 24 – Thursday 26 May 2015

Travel: Barbican and Farringdon stations

Cost: Free to register via www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com